Posted on 27 January, 2011 by Mathias Vermeulen
In 2010 the US-led coalition arrested 6,223 Afghans, the largest number on record said
Vice Admiral Robert Harward, head of US detention operations in Afghanistan. About 5,000 were let go within days, often after tribal elders vowed to keep them out of trouble. About 1,200 — who had the most damning evidence against them — were sent to the new $60 million US Parwan detention facility. A quarter of them were released within months without a trial. At the Parwan detention facility 119 inmates have been detained for more than two years, about 80 of whom Harward said the United States intends to keep indefinitely because they are third-country nationals or Al Qaeda affiliates deemed a serious security threat outside Afghanistan.
300 detainees have been freed until now by the review boards. Meanwhile, nearly 300 others were referred for trial by Afghan courts, including a special onsite court where Afghan judges, prosecutors, and forensic experts are mentored by Americans.
Thirty-six such trials been held here since June and all but two ended in convictions. US officials hope these trials will largely replace the review board hearings next year. So far, 17 detainees who have left the facility have been rearrested, Harward said, and at least one has been killed by the Taliban.
At Pul-e-Charkhi, a prison outside Kabul that houses some 5,000 inmates, including about 1,400 suspected suicide bombers, Taliban fighters, and other “national security’’ threats, prison officials have no authority to release detainees, as the Americans do.
Filed under: Afghanistan, Detention